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HR audit reveals massive irregularities in Garissa County employment

A Human Resource (HR) audit of Garissa County has revealed massive irregularities in staff hiring procedures by the administration.

The report made public by Governor Nathif Jama shows that out of 180 individuals employed as directors, deputy directors and assistant directors, only 44 have the requisite qualifications.

In the transport department, the audit reveals that 100 people were employed as drivers while there are only 12 vehicles in working condition.

Speaking to the press in his office, Jama regretted that the excessive establishment resulted in channeling of funds into unnecessary salary payments hence funds for essential services to residents were unavailable.

The governor further said that it was established that 3,500 workers were earning double salary through the Integrated Personnel and Payroll Database (IPPD) and in excel spreadsheet (used to pay casual workers who do not have personal numbers) without having passed through any due process regarding employment.

“I took over a county where there were about 7,000 staff members earning salaries both in the official county payroll and also in something called excel that is used to list and pay hundreds if not thousands of casuals,” Jama said.

“The county was paying close to Sh450 million per month from the monthly exchequer. Our wage bill was about 73 percent which is way above the legal requirement under PFM capped at 35 percent,” he added.

There have been allegations that many people were put on the county payroll to earn salaries without even having employment or contract letters, while others, who were employed procedurally have not been reporting to work over the years.

According to the law, there cannot be any employment without following the appropriate process of hiring through public advertisement.

Before someone is employed there has to be a request made by a department following a vacancy that has arisen in a section of that department, and further, this can only come after there is an existing budget for the same.

Then the due process must be followed through the county public service board, right to appointment of the appropriate candidate.

Jama also used the opportunity to defend himself against accusations of arbitrarily sacking of county employees.

Already, a taskforce has been formed to listen to grievances of the affected employees after which recommendations will be made on the final decision either to fire or reinstate them.

Jama urged those aggrieved to appear before the taskforce which is starting its hearings today and present their proof of employment.

“The many who are making noise out there in the social media and running around the streets claiming that they have been unjustly sacked, we are giving you an opportunity to come and present your case so that we can know how you entered the payroll,” he said.

The County personnel audit was undertaken by the HR department with the help of the Directorate of Personnel Management two months ago.

By Erick Kyalo

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